Joint action from the EU and US to address the financial crisis "must inevitably precede global cooperation," argues Tom Spencer, the executive director of the European Centre for Public Affairs, in an interview with EurActiv.
Both Sweden and the Czech Republic have dismissed suggestions that their countries could exchange EU presidencies next year. The idea was first put forward by a German MEP to minimise the risk of a weakened Czech government leading the Union when Prague takes over the bloc’s helm in January.
Yes, I’ve gone quiet again of late. Sorry. Illness and work have conspired to make me feel like poo.
Still, an interesting tidbit from the whole “did Peter Mandelson get up to anything dodgy with Russian oligarchs?” thing that’s been knocking around for the last week or so, from the invaluable Unspeak:
Some 130 major European cities yesterday committed to bringing climate change into citizens’ hearts and minds by adopting ambitious sustainable public procurement policies. But they stressed that results would only be achieved if central governments gave them more power.
None of the currently proposed models for a global climate agreement are strong enough to keep global warming below the temperature target of two degrees envisaged by the EU, but they differ greatly in respect of their environmental, economic and distributional consequences, argue researchers from the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in a new CESifo Working Paper.
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Rome at the weekend to protest against the policies of the Berlusconi government. But the European press asks whether the Italian Left under opposition leader Walter Veltroni has any better ideas.
I think that the results are mixed at this point. Sarkozy, as president, has shown a willingness to "combine" his position as chief executive of France with that of the Union as a whole (for the temporary period he has in that role) to try and push creative diplomacy. But the lesson both from his efforts to broker a cease-fire to the Russia-Georgia conflict and from what happened in Beijing is that the effective of the EU rests to some extent on its ability to find a cooperative partner. Moscow and Beijing only went so far along in what they were prepared to do.
vie Ralf Grahn, I found this very interesting proposal by the organization Statewatch. The summarize in a very short and precise way concrete steps which can be taken to make the EU Institutions more accountable and transparent. All this steps can be taken without signing any new treaty.
What do, and should, Europeans speak?
EUROPEANS may increasingly shop in the same stores, eat the same foods and holiday on the same beaches, but language is an area that remains remarkably diverse. Will it, and should it, stay that way?Linguists have counted 239 known languages in Europe, which is about 3.5% of the world’s total. The big ones–English, French, Spanish, German–are well-known.
Following the victory of his Christian Democrat Homeland Union in Lithuania’s parliamentary elections, party leader Andrius Kubilius wants to build a centre-right coalition to replace Gediminas Kirkilas’ social democratic government. Europe’s press discusses what the new leadership can and must do for the country.
The first edition of European science parliament, held in Aachen between 8 – 10 October, dismissed the ‘Aachen Declaration’, a European policy calling for the organisation of a lasting power supply
In an article in the Telegraph Norman Tebbit (via European Avenue) lays out a proposal for Eurosceptics. One should note here that Norman Tebbit himself is a Eurosceptic, who believes that Britain has no place inside a federal European Union. But in contrast to other Europhobes, in this artice a least, he does not simply throw dirt, but presents a positive vision how the EU should be structured.
There are signs that the majority of European Union member-states are eager to jump back into bed with Russia and star
t talks on a new partnership and cooperation agreement as soon as possible.
Still catching up, but it would be churlish not to mention the 20th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s celebrated (in some circles) Bruges speech, which passed the other day with the usual guff from withdrawalists. The BBC’s Nick Robinson has a fun piece on the anniversary celebrations and the Tories’ Europe problem which is well worth reading, considering the fact that they’re likely to be in power at some point within the next couple of years.
The next US president will "inherit the most complex, difficult and dangerous array of foreign policy challenges ever facing a newcomer to the Oval Office," writes Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution, in the autumn edition of Internationale Politik (IP).
A ‘Danish scenario’ based on opt-outs from the EU’s new Reform Treaty seems to be the most likely outcome of the stalemate following the failed referendum on the text in Ireland on 12 June, according to an Irish-based scholar writing for the Robert Schuman Foundation.
The New York Review of Books
Vol: 55, No: 17 Nov. 6, 2008
God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Modern Europe, 570–1215, David Levering Lewis, Norton, 473 pp.
By Felicity Carus